Hee Choi smokes a homer
By Jason Wojciechowski on April 7, 2004 at 5:29 PM
Bullet points from around the league's box scores for Tuesday:
- Hee Choi smoked a two-run homer for Florida, and also had an RBI groundout, leading the Marlins to a 4-3 victory over the Expos. Even if Derrek Lee works out really well for the Cubs, this will have been a good trade for the Marlins.
- Speaking of Florida, BP2k4 mentioned that everything really went right for the Marlins last year, especially in the bullpen. Though they won this game, Chad Fox and Armando Benitez both gave up runs in their stints, Fox's costing Josh Beckett a win. You can't ever really expect a team to repeat as champions, but I'd really not expect the Marlins to do it.
- Eight walks for Boston's hitters (six of them issued by Orioles's starter Eric DuBose), including two by Beaneball favorite Mark Bellhorn, give them just enough offense to win the game, despite just five hits. There's no negative to walking that many times, even if it was against Baltimore's likely-to-be-terrible pitching staff.
- Ellis Burks stole a base in the Red Sox's victory. He's almost the definition of a gimply slugger, but he used to be a pretty good base-stealing threat, swiping 27, 25, and 21 bags with good success rates in his first three years with Boston. He took 32 surprising bases in 1996 with the Rockies after six years of essentially nothing but since then has apparently been essentially a station-to-station base runner. PECOTA's got him pegged for two steals this year, so he's halfway there already.
- Anaheim slugged their way to a victory over Seattle, led by two homers from Troy Glaus. Surprise, surprise, Jose Guillen went 0-5. Look for Glaus to finally be back on track to superstardom this year.
- Colorado took down the Big Unit in their opener, and Shawn Estes had a very impressive line, allowing only a Luis Gonzalez homer (one of two for the limp-armed slugger) of note. Shawn Chacon and Jose Valverde were unimpressive, with Chacon giving up Gonzalez's second homer, and Valverde allowing three runs, including a homer by Colorado's own Luis Gonzalez, a second baseman I've never heard of. He's got no PECOTA card, isn't in BP2k4, isn't in John Sickels's book, and isn't written up in Baseball America. He is listed third on BA's depth chart for second basemen in Colorado, so at least someone's heard of him.
- The Tigers are on quite the streak, winning their second straight on the strength of their offense (stop laughing), led by a pair of doubles each from Pudge Rodriguez and Rondell White.
- Tampa Bay beat Mike Mussina again, showing speed (two steals, two triples) and annoyingness (10 singles). Speed and annoyingness are the two things that have defined that franchise for the past few years, aren't they?
- Kaz Matsui single-handedly beat the Braves, leading off the game with a homer and following that with two doubles and two walks (one of them intentional). He was even involved in two double plays. If he can stay healthy and Jose Reyes can ditch his injury troubles, the middle infield should be a bright spot in Queens for years to come.
- Andy Pettite was beaten by San Francisco in his Houston debut, as the Giants were led by Neifi Perez, who was 4-4 with two doubles. Read that again.
- Houston managed fifteen hits agains the Giants, but all of them were singles, contributing to their dismal 5/20 rate of scoring their baserunners.
- Minnesota and Cleveland played fifteen after Torii Hunter tied the game in the ninth with a two-run homer. The bigger news, though, comes from the recap: Hunter left the game with a strained hamstring, Joe Mauer sprained his knee, and Johan Santana had spasms in his left (pitching) arm. Santana's easily the hardest of the three to replace, since Minnesota is bursting with outfielders, and Mauer wasn't being counted on for a ton of production anyway. Santana was picked by some to win a Cy Young award this year, but it obviously won't happen if he can't stay healthy. A Twins pennant won't happen, either.
- Geoff Jenkins, who's got no business doing so, hit two triples against St. Louis.
- Mike Matheny, who's really got no business doing so, hit a homer in that same game.
- We'll close with an alarming Eric Gagne note: He only struck out one batter in his inning against the Padres.
UPDATE: Luis Gonzalez was a Rule 5 pick of the Rockies, according to the baseball preview issue of Sports Illustrated.